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View Full Version : My cat is a mathmatical genius !!!! (emphasis on the exclamation points)

sabianq
2008-Jul-16, 09:54 PM
absolutely true~

I see her hunker down with her ears flattened to her back as she peers upward at the window ledge, eyeing the distance from her to to her destination. She only has her memory to let her know the state of the landing point which is just outside of her visual reference point.

she traces the rout with her eyes and positions her hind legs to set up a potential flight path. as her butt wiggles she shifts her weight to balance the load all the while her brain is calculateing the force needed to propel her mass at the needed velocity to achieve her desire to get from here to there.

The final solution is realized and the brain triggers a shower of electrical charges that control all of the muscles needed to generate and implement such exacting physical force.
all the while watching her termination looking for change, ready to reposition her body in mid flight if the need should arise.
A graceful descent from her most energetic position proves to me in my opinion that my cat is really really good at math.

Neverfly
2008-Jul-16, 10:09 PM
absolutely true~

I see her hunker down with her ears flattened to her back as she peers upward at the window ledge, eyeing the distance from her to to her destination. She only has her memory to let her know the state of the landing point which is just outside of her visual reference point.

she traces the rout with her eyes and positions her hind legs to set up a potential flight path. as her butt wiggles she shifts her weight to balance the load all the while her brain is calculateing the force needed to propel her mass at the needed velocity to achieve her desire to get from here to there.

The final solution is realized and the brain triggers a shower of electrical charges that control all of the muscles needed to generate and implement such exacting physical force.
all the while watching her termination looking for change, ready to reposition her body in mid flight if the need should arise.
A graceful descent from her most energetic position proves to me in my opinion that my cat is really really good at math.

My lizard is just as keen.

Damburger
2008-Jul-16, 10:18 PM
Your cat is rubbish at maths. Can't even count. However, she can calculate a ballistic trajectory, take into account the force applied by her legs, and relative motion of the target. She doesn't use anything we would consider maths for this, however.

Your brain hasn't evolved mechanics and calculus areas to let you catch a ball, it works more on qualitative guesswork. The closest maths to your motor functions is probably Bayes theorem.

ginnie
2008-Jul-16, 10:24 PM
Hasn't your cat ever missed the ledge?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6rX_3ItdlU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFbycIBy94A

Moose
2008-Jul-16, 10:54 PM
Both of mine have fallen off the half-wall at one of the higher points over the stairs a combined three times within the same a 12 hour period. Only Kaylee fell the whole way down. Both cats managed to catch the edge with their claws and climb back up.

Thankfully, Kaylee was quite a bit bigger this time, and she landed better. Again, no injuries, still seven lives to go by my reckoning.

Whirlpool
2008-Jul-16, 11:36 PM
Again, no injuries, still seven lives to go by my reckoning

Is it really TRUE that cat have Nine(9) Lives?

:think:

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-16, 11:53 PM
Is it really TRUE that cat have Nine(9) Lives?

:think:

Merely a commentary on their agility and ability to get out of tight situations.

Van Rijn
2008-Jul-17, 12:20 AM
And that they're pretty tough. One day, one of my cats (an indoor/outdoor cat) didn't show up. I finally found him curled up and hiding in the yard. Cats will tend to hide from everyone when they're hurt. Anyway, he could barely move his back legs and it was clear that it hurt badly to do so. I took him for a visit to the vet for x rays, who said there wasn't anything broken, but his spine was definitely bruised. Most likely he'd bounced off a car, and, according to the vet, if this had been a dog, he would have had a broken back and probably would have died.

It took him a month to be able to walk any distance, and three months to walk without a limp. From there, he was soon back to climbing trees and doing impressive leaps.

He did become much more cautious around cars (just the sound of a car starting would send him running) which was a good thing.

That was definitely one of his "9 lives."

Hugh Jass
2008-Jul-17, 12:31 AM
heh, i had forgot about one of the lives lost to my cat. Shortly after moving into a new house we were in the habit of leaving the garage door open. The cat got in the habit of sleeping on top of said open garage door. One day we closed the garage door and the screaching howling sound that followed was horrid. She didn't move in time and was squished between the door and the roller. Took her to the vet and they said no broken bones but there is probably some tendon damage might be permenant. Several months later she was back to normal not even a limp any more.

pzkpfw
2008-Jul-17, 12:41 AM
Several months later she was back to normal not even a limp any more.

...but did she go back to sleeping on the door?

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-17, 01:04 AM
Speaking of tough. The same cat that fell into the aquarium had a much more serious incident when he was run over by a 4400 lb (2000 Kg) car! The amazing thing is the car ran over his head and all it did was crack his jawbone. The only long term effect was that he purred louder because he couldn't completely close his jaw.

sabianq
2008-Jul-17, 02:24 AM
The closest maths to your motor functions is probably Bayes theorem.

Hmm... I never considered that our motor function is just a probability equation..

nope... I am sorry, I really dont consider our motor function a function of probability...

anyone know how to derive the force needed to push a skin full of cat 4 feet up at a 45 degree angle?

sabianq
2008-Jul-17, 02:27 AM
Hasn't your cat ever missed the ledge?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6rX_3ItdlU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFbycIBy94A

ROFl

HA!

you know, I haven't actually seen her miss unless there is an unexpected obstacle in her landing site. although I have seen her stumble while running up the stairs.

Frantic Freddie
2008-Jul-17, 05:50 AM
Speaking of tough. The same cat that fell into the aquarium had a much more serious incident when he was run over by a 4400 lb (2000 Kg) car! The amazing thing is the car ran over his head and all it did was crack his jawbone. The only long term effect was that he purred louder because he couldn't completely close his jaw.

When we lived in town our cat came home one morning with a broken jaw,my wife calls the vet in a panic,says he's been in a fight,I tell her "Cats rip each others eyeballs out,they don't break each others jaws".The vet told us he'd probably been runnin' from a dog & ran in front of a car.

Then we moved here & got dogs,to his dyin' day he always hated dogs,I figure the vet was right & Zork always associated all that pain with dogs.

Tog
2008-Jul-17, 07:01 AM
My lizard is just as keen.
Mine wasn't. Oh, he'd do all that stuff. Line up, plot his course across the various items in the room. I could see him looking form the chair to the desk, to the shelf to the bookcase.

He'd line up for that first jump to the chair about 3 feet away and a foot below him, and push off, only to come up about a foot short.

He'd hit the ground, look around and see me, then do the head bob thing to let me know that he is still the king of the bedroom jungle.

I miss him sometimes.

Neverfly
2008-Jul-17, 07:16 AM
Headbob... Must have been an Iguana.

Gral was never much of a Jumper. But at 3 feet not including the tail, I didn't blame her. Especially when she was carrying eggs.
But she was a climber. She also liked to chase the cat around. It wasn't unusual to wake up and find her sitting on your chest looking at you.

Worf, although a bit larger than Gral, was leaner and a Jumper and Climber to make Iguanas everywhere proud.
I never once saw him miss a jump. And it was rare he lost his grip in climbing.
Gral did so frequently. She was a lizard brain.
Sadly, Gral held her eggs one laying season. The very expensive surgery was beyond the budget- and that was the end of Gral.

And it seems that it was the end of Worf too. He spent most his time moping. It may seem surprising that a lizard would act that way, but he did. His appetite lessened as well. Lost one 'love' but relied on his other love- climbing, which ironically proved the end of him as well.

Very High maintenance. They couldn't be caged or boxed in lest they harm themselves beating on the enclosure, required special conditions for egg laying and had to be fed the right way. Worf would have beaten himself to death if he saw a mirror. In the end they had free run of the entire house. Weren't allowed outside though. They were fun and even hysterical at times but

Never Again will I live with Iguanas:neutral:

Neverfly
2008-Jul-17, 07:40 AM
I forgot, I meant to address the OP...

If I go to toss a ball to my son, my intention is not so much to throw the ball somewhere (he's only five years old...) but rather, to throw the ball so that it lands in his hand:neutral:

So I look at the distance, feel the weight of the ball and then I make a guess.
This is not the process of my brain doing complex calculations in my subconscious.
It's trial and error.
Even Millions of years worth of trial and error.

Since early childhood, my brain has been absorbing knowledge on distances, judging depth or trajectories. Even now, 30 years later, I'm liable to misjudge.
It's because it's all trial and error based on my own lifetime of experience and all the lifetimes before me- through Genetic Encoding.

Genetic? What? What is this idiot talking about?
Well, I'm talking about spiders.

Take a spider, an orb weaver maybe, and watch is she spins a delicate and beautiful web. It's symmetrical, the strands are each the perfect distance from eachother.
Now, the spiders tiny brain is ...uh...well... tiny:neutral:
Is that tiny bundle of nerves calculating complex mathematics that the spider does not know about?
Nope.
It's inherent behavior. Trial and error. Millions of years worth.
Take that spider and blast her with cold (So that the spinarettes stop producing silk) and she will continue the motions of weaving the web even though no silk is coming out. Poor dumb thing is following its programming.

We are like that too to some degree.
Like jumping out from behind a corner at someone and yelling. Their eyes get wide, some will scream. That's genetic encoding at work.
Some is more subtle, how a person walks or moves- but still genetic encoding. They don't think about it- the brain comes prewired that way from genes that have evolved from trial and error.

So the cat is relying not on mathematics, but on the experience of that cat, that cats genetic encoding and trial and error.

Tog
2008-Jul-17, 07:43 AM
Yeah. as much as miss him, I'll never have another. At the time, "Ig" had the run of the house, but mainly stayed in my room where we fought for territory all the time. I also had a Ball Python, a Leopard Gecko and a pair of Chinese Water Dragons.

They all stayed in cages though. Well, they were supposed to. I had some issues with the snake.

Water dragons head bob too, so do anoles, but they do it differently. Both start out really low and raise their head up very quickly, then let it slowly settle for the next one. The dragons would follow it up with a slow circle with one front foot. It would shake a little too, so it looked like on old kung-fu movie master building chi for the death blow.:)

Ig actually two of the cutest things I ever saw an animal do. The first was when I gave him spinach. He tasted it, then spit it out, wiped his mouth on everything he could find, then dropped to the floor and started eating the carpet.

The other was the time I had a turkey sandwich and a bit of the skin fell off onto the floor. He ate it, then sat up on his back feet and tail and tried to claw his way through the air at the rest of my sandwich.

The waking up to him testing my ankle to see if it was food, again, I don't miss so much. I had a sheet of plexiglass around the bed since I slept days then too.

I also don't miss spring, when he'd get "confused". For about three weeks, I'd come home from work and toss him my shirt. He'd grab it and run off to some corner of the room to defile it.

sabianq
2008-Jul-17, 02:41 PM
I forgot, I meant to address the OP...

If I go to toss a ball to my son, my intention is not so much to throw the ball somewhere (he's only five years old...) but rather, to throw the ball so that it lands in his hand:neutral:

So I look at the distance, feel the weight of the ball and then I make a guess.
This is not the process of my brain doing complex calculations in my subconscious.
It's trial and error.
Even Millions of years worth of trial and error.

Since early childhood, my brain has been absorbing knowledge on distances, judging depth or trajectories. Even now, 30 years later, I'm liable to misjudge.
It's because it's all trial and error based on my own lifetime of experience and all the lifetimes before me- through Genetic Encoding.

Genetic? What? What is this idiot talking about?
Well, I'm talking about spiders.

Take a spider, an orb weaver maybe, and watch is she spins a delicate and beautiful web. It's symmetrical, the strands are each the perfect distance from eachother.
Now, the spiders tiny brain is ...uh...well... tiny:neutral:
Is that tiny bundle of nerves calculating complex mathematics that the spider does not know about?
Nope.
It's inherent behavior. Trial and error. Millions of years worth.
Take that spider and blast her with cold (So that the spinarettes stop producing silk) and she will continue the motions of weaving the web even though no silk is coming out. Poor dumb thing is following its programming.

We are like that too to some degree.
Like jumping out from behind a corner at someone and yelling. Their eyes get wide, some will scream. That's genetic encoding at work.
Some is more subtle, how a person walks or moves- but still genetic encoding. They don't think about it- the brain comes prewired that way from genes that have evolved from trial and error.

So the cat is relying not on mathematics, but on the experience of that cat, that cats genetic encoding and trial and error.

yes, I agree that animals are in general dyscalculic, but this does not preclude a biological neural network from being able to do calculations. While trial and error have a lot to do with learning, calculations have to be direct result of the processing power attributed to such a large neural network.

I have a direct question for you neverfly?

Can I program a computer to process the information from two channels of ultra high quality audio, two HD video inputs, Billions of physical sensors designed to detect pressure, thermoception with the ability to further detect temperature variations, chemoreception of chemical compounds and kinesthetic sense? Can one further have the computer use the stereo video inputs along with a kinesthetic sense and transfer that information to provide Equilibrioception all the while using part of the processor to maintain a clock rythym, coordinate of thousands of motor servos, and maintain an extensive memory?

I would suspect that even the most powerful computer would overload from to much information given the case above.

I have to ask, Which has more computing processing power, a desktop computer or a biological brain?

Lets actually look at the spider.
the jumping spider:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_spider

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5d/Jumping_Spider_Eyes.jpg/180px-Jumping_Spider_Eyes.jpg

Physiological experiments have shown that they may have up to four different kinds of receptor cells, with different absorption spectra, giving them the possibility of up to tetrachromatic color vision, with sensitivity extending into the ultra-violet range.

This in itself is a feat, the ability to process visual information from wavelengths of light that extend way past our own visual acuity.

A weird and interestingly creepy truth is the fact that jumping spiders will look you directly in the eyes.

Jumping spiders capture their prey by jumping on it from several inches away, and they may jump from twig to twig or leaf to leaf.

this is also a good example of a neural net doing on the fly calculations, no trial and error here, these animals can do this from day one.

They can carry out complex maneuvers such as detours around obstacles in order to reach their prey.

One jumping spider (Evarcha culicivora) is even known to only capture mosquitos full of blood, using their eyesight and smell.

Could you argue that there is a basic thinking process going on here?

can a super computer carry out these tasks? let alone one that fits on the the head of a pin?

I am not arguing that animals are not dyscalculic, rather that a nature made brain is a computer processor and carries out complex calculations in order to achieve the means to an end.

does my logic support my argument?

Swift
2008-Jul-17, 02:50 PM
We had a cat when I was growing up named Doris (she was named for a family friend who hated animals). Doris (the cat) was just not right in the brain, there were serious wiring problems. She was the only cat I ever knew that was a klutz. She would try to jump onto things, like the kitchen counter, and miss and fall to the floor. She would try to playfully stalk our other cat and miss and run into the wall. She liked to sleep on top of the TV (nice and warm), but would roll over in her sleep and fall to the ground.

She also ate the strangest stuff, like peas and Ajax cleanser (she would sit by the kitchen sink and lick the top of the can).

One of her favorite toys was a tiny little cactus (about 2 or 3 cm in diameter) that she would constantly pull out of its pot and carry around in her mouth (spines and all).

None of this seemed to do her any harm, she lived to be about 18 years old.

Damburger
2008-Jul-17, 03:14 PM
Just because you've seen something get from A to C doesn't mean it necessarily went through B. If you pardon the horrible pun, there are more than one ways to skin a cat.

It is a consensus amongst cognitive scientists (based on my experience on an AI degree anyhow) that biological neural nets do not employ mathematics to calculate trajectories of objects, its more like clever guesswork based on lots and lots of experience.

SeanF
2008-Jul-17, 03:17 PM
Hasn't your cat ever missed the ledge?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6rX_3ItdlU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFbycIBy94A
Oh, lord, that first one made me laugh. That brief pause in midair just before he flips over the gate... :lol:

How about this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-SMbblxhpM), though? Looks like he couldn't figure out how to get down until he decided he had to.

NEOWatcher
2008-Jul-17, 03:27 PM
Oh, lord, that first one made me laugh. That brief pause in midair just before he flips over the gate... :lol:
Yep; that one was a bit different than the myriad of missed cat jumps I've seen.

How about this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-SMbblxhpM), though? Looks like he couldn't figure out how to get down until he decided he had to.
There's nothing like incentive, is there.

And to think, I usually avoid cat threads. It's amazing how everyone loves to talk cats, even if they hate them.

I only came here because of the redundancy in the title.

Argos
2008-Jul-17, 03:38 PM
Down here cats are said to have seven lives [probably having to do with the mystique of the number 7].

My cat is very un-cat. Having grown up with dogs, he can barely jump out of the window, the poor thing. And he does everything the dogs do. But he looks smart to me [I like to believe that].

mugaliens
2008-Jul-17, 04:28 PM
Is it really TRUE that cat have Nine(9) Lives?

:think:

Mine had at least four before he bought the farm.

sabianq
2008-Jul-17, 04:53 PM
It is a consensus amongst cognitive scientists (based on my experience on an AI degree anyhow) that biological neural nets do not employ mathematics to calculate trajectories of objects, its more like clever guesswork based on lots and lots of experience.

That makes little sense, could you please cite a source that suggests that there is a "consensus amongst cognitive scientists that biological neural nets do not employ mathematics to calculate trajectories of objects"

As I understand it, the very discipline of Cognitive science (which is the study of intelligence) works on the very basic tenant that the brain is analogous to a Computer CPU.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_science

A simple analogy often used to describe LOA [level of analysis] is to compare the brain to a computer. The physical level would consist of the computer's CPU, the behavioral level represents the computer's output to a monitor or printer, and the functional level would be the computer's operating system, which allows the CPU and peripheral components to communicate.

I have to wonder if you are defending mathematics as a system or systems only justified with reference to axioms as a change in or function of also called formal mathematics. Just because something happens on a subconscious level and is not expressed in symbols, does not mean that a calculation is not being made.

a calculation has to be made in order for the brain to execute a command.
please tell me how this is wrong
thanks

Moose
2008-Jul-17, 05:41 PM
As I understand it, the very discipline of Cognitive science (which is the study of intelligence) works on the very basic tenant that the brain is analogous to a Computer CPU.

Very basic. Yeah, AI research in its infancy proceeded under that assumption. It never really held, though. Computers simply aren't analogous to the brain.

Computer processors function more like a pair of hands. You can pick something up in either hand, put something down you're holding, do one of a number of things to an object, combine two held objects, etc. The computer does very simple things, can do them using more hands, but always only one thing at a time. Just pretty fast.

Recent innovations change very little about how the basic computer processor works. It changes how work is organized (threading, preemptive multitasking), adds "warm bodies" to share the work (multi-core systems), or how many objects you can do the same operation on at the same time (parallel processing). And it tends to do them faster with each system revision. But ultimately, each core does one thing and one thing only.

This is absolutely not how the brain functions. The parts of your brain that handle sight, sound, motion, smell, interpretation, and decision making all function simultaneously and nearly independently. And while we've figured out how individual neurons work, and which region handles which functions, we're still figuring out the brain works.

Bluntly, AI developers have made much better progress since they (mostly) stopped working under the assumption that an AI should work similarly to the human brain.

Neverfly
2008-Jul-17, 06:14 PM
That makes little sense, could you please cite a source that suggests that there is a "consensus amongst cognitive scientists that biological neural nets do not employ mathematics to calculate trajectories of objects"
Damburger is absolutely correct. As far as citing sources go, it would end up being a matter of sending you at least a hundred links to biology papers in which you could sift through and see for yourself. Because I doubt there is one neat little paper handy that sums it all up under the pretense that someone might ask. But there may be one:) I just don't know about it.

To answer your direct question Sabiang:
ABSOLUTELY, the brain has awesome processing power!
Our computers aren't even close to competing with the raw processing power of the brain.
But that does not change the fact that "the brain" is a work in progress that has been doing trial and error for millions of years to get to where it is today.
We have only recently begun to work on computers, what would be a drops of water in the ocean in comparison to the time scale.

this is also a good example of a neural net doing on the fly calculations, no trial and error here, these animals can do this from day one.
Yes, there is trial and error. That trial and error, as I already said, has taken place for generations upon generations upon generations. Over millions of years. The spider and the fly are following their programming.
This does not mean that is all they are doing, but primarily, it is.
But spiders and flies can both also learn and react to new situations too. But they still, primarily, fall back on programming.
Brains do not do complex mathematics and calculations to determine a jump. This statement does not detract from how amazing the brain is.

I have to wonder if you are defending mathematics as a system or systems only justified with reference to axioms as a change in or function of also called formal mathematics. Just because something happens on a subconscious level and is not expressed in symbols, does not mean that a calculation is not being made.
This entire statement is all wrong.
For one, there is no reason to defend math. I don't think anyone is getting defensive. We are just saying that that is not how the brain works.
For two, biology has studied this, these things we are saying are not based on opinion. They are based on the demonstrated workings of the brain.
For a third, just because something happens on the subconscious level and is not expressed in symbols doesn't mean that a calculation isn't being made-ok- but it doesn't mean that one is either:neutral: That statement is nothing more than a circular argument.

a calculation has to be made in order for the brain to execute a command.
please tell me how this is wrong
thanks
A calculation is not necessarily made.
The reason that statement is wrong is because you may as well say that a river must calculate it's course to the ocean, or a volcano must calculate when is the best time to erupt. although these two statements apply to inanimate objects, you can still use the same persuasive arguments to claim them with. But when it's shown to you as equally applicable to things without brains- it demonstrates exactly where the misleading thought occurred for you.

You can balance a monthly budget by using guesswork. But that is not the same as making calculations at all. You can even get pretty good at guessing each month- but it's still not the same as performing the calculations necessary.

Besides, if brains did do subconscious calculations, then the cat would never miss a jump. Because calculations lead to direct answers and guesses lead to estimates.

One more thing:
A.I.
If I build a computer to act like a brain, and I program it with advanced calculus and differential equations and vector analysis... and then set it loose to behave like a brain, it will not only just burn up before concluding anything, but it will also be unable to function without using matrices.
That's really the kicker- It is BECAUSE our brains don't do calculations that enable us to function as efficiently as we do!
A quick and accurate guess is much more efficient than mathematical plotting. Even if you occasionally miss, over-all it's preferable.

I am not arguing that animals are not dyscalculic, rather that a nature made brain is a computer processor and carries out complex calculations in order to achieve the means to an end.

does my logic support my argument?
No. Your arguments do not support your logic, either;)

Damburger
2008-Jul-17, 07:25 PM
Bluntly, AI developers have made much better progress since they (mostly) stopped working under the assumption that an AI should work similarly to the human brain.

I've constructed an artificial neural network driven robot that would disagree with that. Or at least, avoid the walls of its enclosure in a fairly pointed manner.

Moose
2008-Jul-17, 08:01 PM
That's not to say, Damburger, that "recreating the human brain" artificially isn't the holy grail of AI. Just that there's been considerably more progress developing AIs that aren't constrained by the desire to make them as biologically-similar as possible. That's very much an upstream swim.

Your neural net, after all, doesn't use chemical diffusion as a driving mechanism, nor does each neural node process simultaneously, and they only process independently at the abstract level.

[Edit: I've always found learning and efficient pathfinding two of the cooler areas of AI.]

Damburger
2008-Jul-17, 09:34 PM
That's not to say, Damburger, that "recreating the human brain" artificially isn't the holy grail of AI. Just that there's been considerably more progress developing AIs that aren't constrained by the desire to make them as biologically-similar as possible. That's very much an upstream swim.

Your neural net, after all, doesn't use chemical diffusion as a driving mechanism, nor does each neural node process simultaneously, and they only process independently at the abstract level.

[Edit: I've always found learning and efficient pathfinding two of the cooler areas of AI.]

Of course you don't try and emulate the intricate biochemistry of the brain; my neural nets used a simple sigmoid activation function. What you are trying to capture is the connectionist processing model of the brain, and also the ability to classify without reasoning.

On the other hand, there have been attempts to simulate single neurons perfectly using large amounts of computing power (far too large to allow them to be networked). These have the potential to give insights as to why neurons work so well in networks, and can probably inform the design of artificial networks.

sabianq
2008-Jul-18, 12:20 PM
so Neverfly, It seems that you are absolutely sure, 100% certain that you know how the human brain works. I am astounded by your intellect, wowed by your insight and really set in my place. Thanks for pointing out how silly this whole thread is...

I have been pouring over the internet looking for resources that suggest that a brain does absolutely no calculation what so ever and I really cant find any. I would really like at least like suggestions for a search on google that could suggest at lease some of the "hundred links to biology papers in which you could sift through and see for yourself." describing that the brain does no calculations.

that would be a great help for me as i really do like reading.

thanks again for your wonderful diatribe and really putting me in my place.

BTW, It is interesting to note that in my Obviously Flawed research i have dug up a couple of articles on Neural Networks one in paticular interest that the National Academy of Sciences, Dr Alan Katritzky, University of Florida, and colleagues identified several mosquito repellents that work more than three times as long as DEET. The really cool part was it was found using a Neural Network.

http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jcisd8/2006/46/i05/abs/ci0600206.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/05/30/scideet130.xml
http://www.aaai.org/Library/Symposia/Spring/ss99-01.php

if your statement is true, then this "neural Network" was just guessing. Right?

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-18, 12:27 PM
There is a big difference between doing learned guesses to control muscles (throwing a ball) and doing actual mathematical calculations (Do you honestly know the mass in your hand, wind speed, drag coefficients, etc... when you throw that ball???? NO).

sabianq
2008-Jul-18, 01:06 PM
here is the thing,
math is just a language to describe how things will work out.
if i throw a ball, my brain needs information to get the ball to the target. the weight of the ball, the distance to the target, location of the target (up a hill, in a valley) wind speed.

with this information my brain will "calculate" the amount of force and direction i need to throw the ball in order to reach my target, While it is just a guess, It is an informed guess based on information i have at hand.
My brain absolutely makes the appropriate calculations on a subconscience level needed to get the ball to the target.

Now, after the event has happened and I have reached my target, one could place real numbers on the event and use formal math to show how much force was exerted on the ball using ballistic calculations to describe the event.
this math is absolute, meaning that I can use the numbers generated to recreate my throw (assuming all environmental factors are exactly the same).

But the "math" itself is just a language used to describe the event in terms that can be realized by an outside observer. while my brain does not actually figure exact mass, and force in kilograms and meters per second, I have to have the ability to realize approximate mass and approximate force needed to reach my goal. There has to be a calculation of sorts going on that allows me to hit my target.

This calculation then can be described using a formal axiom to show what has happened.

I mean It would be really hard to throw a ball to a given target if you did not know information related to the event, like wind speed, location of the target, and weight of the ball. and i bet you can test this with a blind fold and a whiffle ball.

sabianq
2008-Jul-18, 01:33 PM
still looking, i found this article
http://madamfathom.blogspot.com/2007/06/monkey-see-monkey-do-mathematical.html

When the monkeys saw a shape, the activity of their LIP neurons was proportional to the probability associated with that shape. With each sequential shape, the neurons altered their firing rates to match the updated probability. Although it is unknown how their brains converted information from each shape to their respective probabilities, the activity of these neurons indicates that they either play a role in the transformation, or represent the outcome during the decision-making process.

Apart from showing that monkeys are closer to furry calculators than previously thought, the study has grander implications. As the authors conclude, “the present study exposes the brain’s capacity to extract probabilistic information from a set of symbols and to combine this information over time.” A similar neural process may underlie our abilities to reason about alternatives, and make decisions based on subtle probabilistic differences.

NEOWatcher
2008-Jul-18, 01:38 PM
.... There has to be a calculation of sorts going on that allows me to hit my target...
I understand that the word "calculation" can be used in many different ways, but I'm not sure the mathematical usage of calculation is really an appropriate and that is the way it is coming across in your post.

I think it's more in the line of judgement and relationships. In other words the ball is heavier/lighter/about the same as another that I used... I threw that one without a lot of effort, so this one...
So; yes, in a way you are judging your variables, but you are judging them more through a relative relationship rather than by some value.

It, may be a very fine line, and splitting hairs about what's going on, but we also have this little irritation called "language" that gets in the way of describing it.

sabianq
2008-Jul-18, 01:45 PM
here in this article:
http://www.1729.com/blog/HowDoesANeuronKnowWhatToDo.html
it is stated:

The function of a neuron is to process information from its inputs, which consist of signals (or action potentials) coming in from those neurons whose axons connect to its dendrites. The neuron constantly performs a calculation based on these inputs, and outputs the result as a sequence of signals sent out on its own axon to other neurons. The meaning of a neuron both determines and is determined by the relationship between the output signals that it generates and the component of perception, belief, emotion, intention or other mental state that is represented by the activity of that neuron.

I understand that "formal math" is just a way of expressing things and showing how things work together, a calculation is still a calculation regardless of how it is described.

WIKI defines Calculation as:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculation

A calculation is a deliberate process for transforming one or more inputs into one or more results, with variable change.

this is exactly what the brain does, does it not?
in effect as to the meaning of the word, The brain does do calculations.

sabianq
2008-Jul-18, 01:56 PM
I understand that the word "calculation" can be used in many different ways, but I'm not sure the mathematical usage of calculation is really an appropriate and that is the way it is coming across in your post.

as i stated in post 19

I am not arguing that animals are not dyscalculic, rather that a nature made brain is a computer processor and carries out complex calculations in order to achieve the means to an end.

I think it's more in the line of judgement and relationships. In other words the ball is heavier/lighter/about the same as another that I used... I threw that one without a lot of effort, so this one...
So; yes, in a way you are judging your variables, but you are judging them more through a relative relationship rather than by some value.

sounds like a calculation process is going on here^^^^^^^^^

It, may be a very fine line, and splitting hairs about what's going on, but we also have this little irritation called "language" that gets in the way of describing it.

Yes, which is why i added the definition of "calculation" in post 37

A calculation is a deliberate process for transforming one or more inputs into one or more results, with variable change.

sabianq
2008-Jul-18, 01:59 PM
in my original post i equated "Math" with "Calculation" which was probably a fatal error.

NEOWatcher
2008-Jul-18, 03:15 PM
in my original post i equated "Math" with "Calculation" which was probably a fatal error.
Yeah; I think that is the only issue that I was trying to point out. There is no single interpretation of the word calculation.

So; while the brain is performing complex calculation based on some sort of input, it's not necessarily performing a "mathematical" calculation which implies some sort of precise outcome.

Neverfly
2008-Jul-18, 03:41 PM
in my original post i equated "Math" with "Calculation" which was probably a fatal error.

Exactly.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-18, 04:07 PM
Sabianq - Now that I see what you mean behind your wording I agree with you. Of course your brain is taking data and memory and doing some funky things in there to arrive at how hard to throw something. But "math" was the wrong word, I think, for that situation.